Something else that I simply couldn’t spend the next three years without! A staple in my family, eaten on everything from cornflakes and porridge to Christmas cake. My Dad even claims to have eaten it on a lettuce leaf – allegedly a Cornish delicacy but I’m not so sure that I’d push it that far.
It’s dangerously simple to make but does take a little bit of forward planning. Having said that however it’s not really possible to get truly authentic results of this side of the Atlantic but what follows is the closest approximation that I have managed. It’s spot on for texture but the favour is sometimes a touch reminiscent of creme frâiche but this does vary depending where the cream comes from.
Double or whipping cream (heavy cream here in the US) You need something with quite a high fat content and non-homogenised will give the best results.
A little full fat milk (to help the cream float) I use about a 1:4 ratio.
I haven’t put quantities here because you can make as much or as little as you want, it really all depends on the size of dish that you use. It isn’t really worth doing though with less that 500ml of cream.
Pour the milk and cream into a large shallow baking dish and let it stand in the fridge for about 12 hours. This allows the fat in the cream to rise to the surface. After the 12 hours put your oven onto its lowest possible setting. Cover the cream with foil and place it in a bain marie. Then very carefully (you don’t want to agitate the cream) place this in the oven and leave it for a further 12 hours or so. I do mine overnight. Obviously this is most safely done if you have an oven (preferably electric) with an automatic shut off.
You may want to carefully check it after about 10 hours because I sometimes find that it helps the crust form if you give it a couple hours without the foil covering. You definitley want a crust but you don’t want a skin. When you can see that the cream has a nice butter-like crust and that clots have started to form below remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool.
When it’s down to room temperature place it in the fridge to get really cold. At this stage all you need to do is skim off the thickened cream on the surface using a slotted spoon and transfer it to a tub for storage.
It’ll keep for good few days and freezes really well. Eat with absolutely anything and everything. (Okay maybe not lettuce)